He spoke with such conviction but the crowd did not buy it. His wife, sitting behind him in a pew, clutched his young son by the shoulder. His graceless cardigan wrinkled between her fingers; cold and bloodless. The young woman’s daughter sat alone at the end. Her hands covered her face yet her nose peeked out, separating her plump, little pinkies. The anguish dribbled across the back of her hands, staining the lace trimming her mother had just ironed the night before. The floral print on her once radiant, whimsical dress seemed to turn into a leaden sheet of thorny pricks and irksome reminders of what was happening right before her.
Without a word the man sat down in the bored-out chair. Its legs wobbled atop the uneven floor, the stiff nubs wearing down upon the opposing wood ground. It scratched the planks below but it was okay. No one would take the time to lower their eyes towards the spot this man once stood at. The chair would eventually find its way to a local pile of refuse - just like the second-hand suit he bought a week before at the nearby thrift store. The son would eventually grow up to be a pharmacist, never traveling outside the city limits unless it was for his wife. His mother died a few years after the incident, some say from a broken heart, while others speculated she killed herself by overdose. She never received a proper examination.
As for the young girl at the end of the pew, few know what happened to her or the dress she once wore. It wasn’t until a few years after the article on her brother appeared in the paper that she came forward. After years of decomposing in the city’s landfill, the dress she once wore was plucked out and tried on. A young girl stood up, turned around and walked away without a problem in the world.